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Economic Causes Of Youth Violence : The Problem Of Gangs

Decent Essays
Gangs are not a new phenomenon, but they are still a problem that has to be addressed. Gangs are involved in a number of criminal activities. In the last few years or so many urban cities have experienced an epidemic of youth violence that is rapidly spreading from the inner cities to the suburbs. Gangs are no longer the problem of those who live in the crime-ridden neighborhoods where the gangs thrive; they are now everyone's problem. Along with the violence that comes from gangs, there are also other economic costs of gangs, such as medical costs and incarceration. There are many factors for why young people get involved with gangs. Communities and law enforcement have come up with a number of programs and ideas dedicated to preventing gang development and recruitment. Gangs often form along ethnic and racial lines, although more recently youths are joining for economic purposes. According to Jill Leovy gangs are created as a replacement for law enforcement because minority groups feel that law enforcement doesn’t care about them. She states that, “Black America has not benefited from a state monopoly on violence” (Leovy, pg8). Usually, the state is the only institution that’s allowed to use force to ensure the law is held in place. She explains that because of this failure to stand up for black people, these black communities came up with their own, alternative systems of justice to replace the governmental law. In response to this seeming indifference violence became a
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